Monday, December 11, 2017

Rich Swann Has Been Suspended Indefinitely

Another abuse case
Photo Credit:
Sunday mornings are for making breakfast, reading the paper, and apparently finding out that a former favorite wrestler of yours is a domestic abuser. News broke yesterday morning that Rich Swann is the latest wrestler to be outed as an abuser, as he was arrested for battery and false imprisonment for an incident involving his wife, Su Yung. The Gainesville Police Department released the police report and a mugshot due to "national media requests," so everything is now out in the open. Apparently, Swann was critiquing Yung's latest wrestling match, things got heated, and according to two witnesses, Swann headlocked her after she got out of the car out of fear of escalation and dragged her back in against her will. Swann is denying the charges, although the witnesses' descriptions corroborate Yung's side more than Swann's. Shortly after, WWE took action and suspended Swann indefinitely.

Swann is the latest in a line of wrestlers who have faced charges of domestic violence or sexual assault, and he's the first in awhile to test WWE's zero tolerance policy towards assault towards a partner. Michael Elgin is also losing bookings for his role in covering up and defending a trainee on rape charges, but if one is to judge his future prospects on AAW's reaction, those bookings will eventually come back to him. One could argue Swann will be the first to face real consequences, especially if WWE ends up releasing him over it, and that once again is a problem especially since once he gets back into the wild, he'll get bookings. Don't believe me? Sami Callihan has accusations against him of abusing a former partner, and Combat Zone Wrestling and the entire near Midwest runs through him. Fuck, Adam Rose and Bram keep getting bookings now. When WWE's corporate-mandated timeouts that are mostly in place so Stephanie McMahon can placate sponsors and seem "woke" are the most stringent, the business has a problem.

Of course, with this incident, people have come out of the woodwork to scream about context or that people have to see both sides when one such side is corroborated with a police report and witness accounts. The scales are tipped so much in favor of abusers in society that it won't be surprising when Swann comes back either to WWE or the indies with fanfare and people supporting him. Meanwhile, folks are left to wonder if Yung is actually safe and how long something like this has been going on, especially since the report stated she got out of the car in the first place because she was afraid of escalation. Domestic abuse and sexual predation is a giant problem in wrestling, and it won't become less of one until people start believing victims. The fact that people have skepticism in this, the most slam dunk of cases, makes me think that time is still too far off in the distance.

One other note, even though the police report shed light on this story for the world, one must question why the Gainesville Police Department so easily released it over Twitter/Dropbox. It doesn't excuse Swann in any way, but I have to wonder if his, ahem, demographic played any role in the department so easily complying with requests for information from national media. The world may never know dot dot dot.